Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I hate blue cheese and snakes and so does my MC

I'm reading a new book I downloaded on my kindle today. It's a romance about a hot firefighter, if you're interested. Blame it on the wine store patio next to the smoothie shop catching on fire and the subsequent firefighters. Sadly for me, the sprinklers had already put out the fire so I didn't really get to see them in action....I'm getting off track. Sorry. What I wanted to talk about was how writers insert their own opinions/pet peeves/dislikes into their writing, and sometimes it's downright amusing. I read one scene in this particular book and thought "Well, I guess I know how the author feels about that!"

In the scene, the damsel-in-distress is picking her heroic firefighter (is firefighter one word or two? firefighter. fire fighter. I could go look at the book but I'm lazy) up from the hospital and has to bring him clothes. She brings him bright pink boxers with smiley faces on them. He balks at them and she says he could just not wear underwear (she'd also brought him jeans). He then tells her (his lip curling) "That's gross. Not to mention unsanitary."

Umm, seriously? I don't know any guy who would be so disgusted at the idea of not wearing underwear. In fact I know several who don't wear underwear at all, ever. (Not gonna explain how I know that.) I suppose there are men out there who don't like not wearing underwear, but it is such a woman thing to make a fuss about, yet she had a male character saying it. I found it pretty amusing, but I now know where the author stands on men's undergarments. I'd venture to say her husband would never dare to go commando.

The author did this again a few pages later, when the heroine asks the sexy fire fighter what his favorite foods are and he tells her he hates pasta. She replies "That's not normal." He tell her he knows but "It's slimy. Blech." Would you guess that the author doesn't like pasta for that reason and has had numerous people tell her that's not normal? I would.

I think that most authors do this. I know I do. I will never be able to write a character who likes blue cheese. I think that inserting little quirks that are your own pet peeves can help make your characters more interesting and more real, and it's probably easier to remember what your characters quirks are when they are the same as yours. has to make sense for the character.


Lydia Kang said...

It's so tempting to put in all my little idiosyncrasies into my characters. I did that a lot with my first novel, then shelved it. I guess I got it out of my system!

Deb Salisbury said...

LOL! I can see a male refusing to wear pink boxers, but you're right, his response is a girl's line.

I make my characters eat and enjoy things I wouldn't, but I don't try to describe their reactions. That would make an interesting challenge...

I also have them fear all the things I do - since I'm a coward, that's easy. ;-)